Vince Flynn

Jim Gehrz, Star Tribune

Vince Flynn, 47: Dyslexia couldn’t stop the bestsellers

  • Article by: Jeff Strickler
  • Star Tribune
  • December 27, 2013 - 10:05 AM

In the days after Vince Flynn’s death, tributes poured in from the famous and the powerful. Former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush were fans of his books, as was TV host Bill O’Reilly.

But the most touching testimonials came from people far from the spotlight. They were fans not only of his books but also of his spirit and resolve. They knew firsthand the hurdles he had faced, and they saluted the work he did to persuade others to overcome learning disabilities.

“It is amazing to me how one person’s admission can inspire someone, and you have inspired my son,” the mother of a dyslexic boy wrote on Flynn’s website when she heard the news of his death. She explained her son’s reluctance to write, for “fear of looking or feeling dumb.” Then he saw Flynn being interviewed on TV, and “[now] he’s going to work on writing stories.”

In championing those with learning disabilities, Flynn often argued that his dyslexia was a gift because it taught him to never give up in the face of a challenge. His first book, written while he supported himself bartending, was rejected 60 times. He finally ended up publishing it himself.

“Just like you, I am dyslexic,” a man named Lance posted on the website the day Flynn died. “Yes, there are hard parts to it, but there also is lots of good to it. That’s the way I look at it now and always will, and for that I thank you very much.”

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